Beignets lie in the sweet spot between brunch and dessert, and a creamy white chocolate mousse makes it taste even more sinful. The intense black cherry and vanilla flavors of Liberty Ciderworks Manchurian Crabapple Single Varietal port-style cider takes the pairing over the edge.
Beignets with White Chocolate Mousse and Tarragon
Recipe by Chef Jeremy Hansen of Santé, Spokane, WA
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
2 teaspoons instant yeast
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup Liberty Ciderworks Manchurian cider
2 tablespoons sugar
Neutral oil, for frying
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Sift flour, instant yeast and salt into mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine butter, cider, egg and sugar, mix well. Mix wet and dry ingredients until a firm dough forms, then let dough rest 1 hour at room temperature. Refrigerate three hours or push dough down and cover in a greased bowl to allow to expand over night or for up to 2 days. Roll down on lightly floured work surface into a 14-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Cut into 2-inch squares or desired size and shape. Heat 3 inches of oil in deep pot to 365˚ F. Fry in hot oil on both sides until golden brown, about 1 minute each side. Let rest on paper towel and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
2 teaspoons gelatin powder
1 tablespoon water
3 egg yolks
1¼ cups 2 percent milk
8 ounces white chocolate
4 tablespoons crème liqueur of your choice
¾ cup whipping cream
Soak gelatin powder in cold water. Mix egg yolks together while heating milk until simmering on stovetop over medium heat. Create a hot water bath. Slowly add hot milk into yolks while whisking. Place bowl with egg mixture on top of hot water bath and whisk in white chocolate until melted. Add gelatin, whisking to incorporate. Add liqueur, whisking in, and remove from heat. Strain through fine sieve. Cool over ice bath. Whip cream into soft peaks and fold in white chocolate mixture. Pour into piping bag and refrigerate until it solidifies.
To assemble, pipe white chocolate mousse onto a plate and nestle beignets nearby. Garnish with freshly picked petals of tarragon.